Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Shakespeare Film Festival

2. "Scotland, PA"

EG - Macbeth! Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth! I'll say it all day. Superstitious theatre folk think this play is cursed and the mere mention of its name, Macbeth, as bad luck. But this is a movie. A movie based on the play Macbeth.

This version of Macbeth is set in a small town in Eastern Pennsylvania in the late 70's with Duncan's fast food restaurant standing in as the kingdom. Which, when blind ambition takes over, becomes McBeth's.

Now the play Macbeth is some dark fucking drama, so the director's decision to make this a black comedy is quite welcome. The fact that he cast brunette supercutie Maura Tierney as alphabitch Lady Macbeth proves that he too is an evil genius. She leaves no question as to why the slightly less ambitious "Mac" is a slave to that pussy.

On top of this you get Christopher Walken playing a detective character that has such shades of Columbo that it is mentioned in the dialogue. And that dumpy guy who always plays the dimwitted friend in indie movies does a wonderful job playing the dimwitted friend.

Some of the problems include that fact that no matter how much comedy you lace in, this is dark-dark. That and I now have the song "Bad Company" by Bad Company off of their album Bad Company stuck in my head. Till the day I die.

Overall I give it 2 1/2 Yoricks.
Red - Ah, the Scottish play. That is what we theatre folk call it, but that's actually because it's been phenomenally popular since the very beginning. If it was said that your company was doing this play, it was quite possible that they were doing it in a last ditch effort to make some dough and you might soon be unemployed. In case you were wondering where the superstition comes from. That's what I'm here for!

I can't say enough about Maura Tierney as Lady M. She's absolutely phenomenal. James Legros is also quite good as Mac. (Nice build, too, girls. I remember him as kind of a skinny thing from his Ally McBeal days.)

This is not a favorite play of mine. I mean Mac and Lady M get theirs in the end (sorry for the spoiler if you didn't know that), but not before smashing some big dents into your faith in humanity. Banko (in this, Banquo in Shakespeare) is one that starts to put the pieces together and would strenuously object, if he lived to tell anyone about it. The character actor who plays him does well. I would disagree with EGs characterization of him as the dim friend, in this one, he's a little too bright for his own good. Speaking of dim, the town sheriff in Scotland is endearingly so. One of my favorite lines is spoken about him by Christopher Walken in the climactic scenes; I don't want to spoil it in case you see this.

What with its portrayal of just how bad people can sometimes be, I can't really love this piece. But it's well done.

I give it a solid three Yoricks.


McGone said...

Damn, look at Maura Tierney getting down with her bad self. I must investigate this further.

red said...

You guys! I watched this and have to admit...I didn't think it was very good. Boring, really. How do you make MacBeth boring?!?

Maura Tierney was great, though.